The 1970’s were difficult times economically and socially. Rampant inflation, an oil embargo and the Iranian hostage Crisis. Maybe it’s Watergate, the Viet Nam War or perhaps the only presidential resignation that seem to make it a memorable decade. All those events set the stage for the Reagan presidency of the 80’s.
Partisans ignore the Iran-Contra Scandal, that the national debt, unemployment (10.8% in 1983) and the largest percentage drop in the stock market since 1929 happened in 1987.
Some close observers remember Reagan’s announcement to run for the presidency during the electorates rapidly changing party affiliations in the Southern United States. Philadelphia, Mississippi was the site of that announcement. Philadelphia happened to be where three civil rights workers (Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner) were killed and buried.
However, today, some 30 plus years later it’s the shrinking middle class that lingers. Statistically middle class wealth and income has not kept up with inflation. American tax law and corporate incentives made it advantageous to move jobs to developing countries overseas.
Less regulation, lower wages, cooperative governments made it so attractive to leave the United States, millions of workers scrambled for new employment opportunities. In fact, trade deals were sold as a “good thing” with unwitting voters helping to hasten their own financial demise.
American works help build the middle class and raise the standard of living in countries all around the world. Even past enemies like Viet Nam, boast substantial rise in living standards. In many cases funded by Americans buying of their exports.
That’s right the Reagan Administration is the root of today’s depressed middle class. The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is a friend to entrepreneurs and low income workers. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), designed to advocate for individuals are steps in the right direction. Perhaps the pendulum that measures the fair worth of labor has begun to swing the other way.